Thursday, July 5, 2012

Some Change-Ups: Mornings and Treadmills

Last weekend, M and I took a little road trip to meet some friends to celebrate a birthday. Having just gotten back into a running routine post-Israel, I was intent to not miss a day over the weekend. Usually when I pack running clothes for a trip, festivities and socializing tend to take us into the wee hours of the morning, meaning nights are busy and early mornings are unheard of. But something has happened in the five or so years since we all left college: we don't do late-nights anymore. At least, not more than once a week.

So Friday night saw us playing games and turning in around midnight. Some of our other friends are runners as well, one for exercise and one for military training-type things, and I had spent the evening being as annoying as possible in discussing running techniques, times, and accessories. Having talked their ears off about my determination to wake up early Saturday and run, I realized that not doing so might be a little embarrassing. So, proving once again that sharing your goals and ambitions with others is the best way to stick to them, I rolled out of bed at 8:15 (an hour later than I'd planned) and did a 1.5 mile run around the block. I kept the run short for multiple reasons, but mostly because I'm a weak morning runner and it was already more than 80 degrees when I finally got outside.

The morning run left me invigorated and proud. I've been trying to wake up mornings to run for weeks, and I finally accomplished a morning run! I felt I'd overcome a hurdle. (One step forward...)

Back at home this week, faced with more hot weather, rain, and humidity, I opted to actually accompany M to the gym and do my run there. Of course, the gym director wanted me to consider adding my own membership, and I know that weight-training is important to improving my running and decreasing my injuries. We're considering adding me on for just the summer, until it's cooler out.

Anyway, I did some weight-training for my hips, quads, and core before doing my two miles on the treadmill. Even though I was more tired after doing weights, the run was easy enough. But I had forgotten how boring running on the treadmill is! I really prefer running outside, even if it's a tired and overused route; even if it's 90 degrees and so humid I may as well be swimming.

I feel strong but achy today, and I meant to run this morning...but of course, I'm not trying to impress M, and it was so much more comfortable in bed. (...Two steps back.) It's raining again, so today may be another gym day.

My adjusted plan is to try to alternate gym days with running days, so that I'm not overworking my muscles. I'm also going to start adding mileage again; I'm aiming for 9 miles a week by running 2.5 or 3 miles at a time, instead of my usual two.

The next FMTC fun-run is on July 10 (M's and my anniversary!), and I'm hoping to beat my time on that one. I'm also hoping it's not on grass like the first one was!

Making progress and adding/changing routines is part of the fun of this sport, and I'm definitely enjoying experimenting with my comfort zone. Every time I set a new limit or goal, I'm astounded when I'm able to reach it. I'm excited to continue to push myself further this summer, so that by fall I'm feeling more confident and stronger than ever.


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